In Region 1, a total of 29,300 Pantawid Pamilya children are not attending school (NAS): 18,432 from Pangasinan; 4,518 from La Union; 3,420 from Ilocos Sur; and 2,930 from Ilocos Norte.

Based on the Beneficiary Tracking Report, parents’ decision and loss of interest topped the major reasons of children not attending school. Other reasons are working, early marriage, early pregnancy/fatherhood, financial problems, sickly, disability, sibling care, bullied, and emotionally unprepared.

Despite exhaustive efforts of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program through case management, there are still NAS cases that remain to be non-compliant to education conditions due to difficult circumstances.

With the conduct of the Bata Balik Eskwela (BBE), these Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries identified as NAS will be given assistance to comply with the program conditions on education.

The BBE Task Force of the Regional Program Management Office randomly visited the municipalities in the region with the highest number of NAS cases to have an intensive talk with the children and their parents to dig out the root causes that led them to be non-compliant and convince the children to go back to school.

Simultaneous activities with the parents and children were also conducted in schools where NAS children recently enrolled. Partner agencies such as Commission on Higher Education, National Nutrition Council, PhilHealth, and Department of Labor and Employment attended to extend their programs and services catering to the needs of the NAS children for them to be compliant with the program conditions.

According to Pantawid Pamilya Regional Program Coordinator Rosalyn L. Descallar, monitoring the school attendance of the children is a shared responsibility of the Program and the parents. This is to ensure that they will finish their education and have better opportunities in the future.

Many children committed to go back to formal school or enroll to Alternative Learning System Program of the Department of Education. Some parents were also relieved upon hearing the commitment of their children to continue their education. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/Pantawid Pamilya)